News & Articles Historic Acropolis Rally 2023: McCormack-Mitchell on the top after Leg 1!
Britain’s Martin McCormack-Barney Mitchell are in the lead of the Historic Acropolis Rally after the first 4 Special Stages of the event which took place in Leg 1. The rally started early on Friday 3 November with the Ceremonial Start taking place at the Acropolis. After that, the crews competed at Skourta, Thiva, Elikonas and Voxites, which was night stage.
The crew of the right-hand drive Ford Escort RS1800 MKII crew took the lead early, by winning the first stage of the day, but then their main rivals passed them temporarily. After the first three Special Stages of the day, the British crew was third, but they made a comeback in the night stage, took the lead and will start first on the road on Saturday’s six Special Stages. The Italians Valter Pierangioli-Sauro Farnocchia impressed with their performance, finishing second after Leg 1. The crew of the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4×4 suffered an electrical problem in SS1, but they managed to overcome it. They were lying first overall after SS3, but in the night stage, they spun and lost almost half a minute and the lead of the rally. However, the Italian crew does not have the right to collect points for the European championship.
Ernie Graham-Karen Graham on their fourth visit to Greece in a Ford Escort RS1800 MKII are, having a trouble-free rally so far and they want to finish on the podium. Fourth overall are the Greeks, Alexandros Halivelakis-Thanos Papageorgiou in a Ford Escort MKII. The 26-year-old driver achieved top three overall times in two special stages of the first leg and will be in contention for a place on the podium of the international rally on Saturday. One place further back are the Czechs Oldrich Kovarik jnr-Marek Kapic who are doing well in their first visit to our country with a Skoda Favorit 136 L. Sixth overall in the Greek championship, are Giorgos Paradeisis-Plutarchos Stergiou in a Ford Escort RS2000 MKII, ahead of Giorgos Delaportas-Evangelos Panaritis in their second appearance with a Volkswagen Golf II GTI. Dimitris Pavlos Melas-Stathis Vardaxis with a Porsche 911 RS are in the 8th place, ahead of Alexandros Roustemis-Grigoris Andrianopoulos in a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, who impressed with their time at Elikonas, while the Frenchmen Eric Guignard-Didier Meffre are tenth overall in a Renault 5 Turbo. Having won three rallies of the Greek Historic Rally Championship, Marios Stafylopatis-Giorgos Hatzirigas are in 11th position in a Ford Escort MKII, with Konstantinos Argyriou-Stamatis Laskos chasing them in the Toyota Starlet EP71. The leaders of the Historic Greek Rally Championship, Dimitris Amaxopoulos-Chara Moraiti (Toyota Corolla KE30) are first in the 1600 cc. of the Greek championship, despite the fact that they had no headlights in the night stage.
In the classes of the European championship, Martin McCormack-Barney Mitchell lead Class 3, ahead of Eric Guignard-Didier Meffre, Tom Coughtrie-Alex Lee (Ford Escort RS1800 MKII) and Siegfried Mayr-Renate Mayr (Volvo 240 ). Great Britain’s Ernie Graham-Karen Graham are leading in Class 4 ahead of Oldrich Kovarik jnr-Marek Kapic. In Class 2, the only crew that takes part is Paolo Pasutti-Giovanni Battista Campeis (Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0), while in Class 1 only the Czechs Oldrich Kovarik snr-Petr Dufek compete in a Skoda Octavia Super of 1961.
Panagiotis Paradeisis-Mihalis Fragou abandoned in the second Special Stage due to a problem with the electrics of their Ford Escort RS 1800 MKII. The only Greek crew that had the right to collect points for the European championship, Alexandros Christodoulou-Thanasis Samaras with the Lancia 037 Rally failed to complete the first Special Stage of the rally, abandoning due to a broken suspension. The duo of Athanasios Athanassoulas-Vassilis Basiukas with a Toyota Starlet did not finish the first leg due to a gearbox failure.
On Saturday, the itinerary includes 6 Special Stages with a total length of 78 kms, with the last stage taking place again under the floodlights.
Sponsors of the Historis Acropolis Rally are the Municipality of Elefsina, Elefsina, the European Capital of Culture for 2023, Superfast Ferries, SP Tableware, Seajets and Cosmote TV.
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